Scaleybark Light Rail Station can be found a brisk fifteen minute walk from our rental house. It’s far easier to load the kids up into the stroller and saunter over there to ride the train into Charlotte to visit the museum or Imaginon, the children’s museum, than pull them and their stuff in and out of the car, collapse and erect the stroller, drive in and find parking, and Sam loves the ride. We’ve taken this journey several times now and it delights him every time. Bea isn’t quite so bothered yet.
The last stop is Seventh Street Station and the only way I can get Sam off the train is to remind him that he gets to hit the building there. Thirtysix thirty foot tall light fins surround a parking garage adjacent to the station. Created in 1998 the interactive artwork by Christopher Janney has touch sensitive acrylic pads which light up and play sounds when pressed. “Noises!” Sam says incredulously as he touches a pad and the building starts to laugh or beep. We have to hit every spine as we pass by. He still throws a fit and clings to his seat not wanting to get off the train when we reach the Seventh Street Station but the lure of Touch My Building does placate him somewhat. It also keeps him happily occupied and away from the track and his precious trains as we wait to go homeward bound.
The other day we met our new friends Lisa and Garrett at Scaleybark Station and rode in together to visit Discovery Place. I signed up and joined a new mum’s group when I arrived in Charlotte and have tried to delve right in and get busy meeting people and taking the kids to playdates. We initially met Lisa and Garrett when we drove across town to a nice indoor playroom at Hickory Grove Recreation Centre. I got there really late having got lost multiple times along the way and by the time we arrived most of the meet up group were preparing to leave. Ooops. Sam did get to have a good run around regardless and little Garrett, who is almost two seemed to like following my big boy around as he investigated all the toys. Lisa introduced herself as she realised we live very near to each other and since then we’ve been very much enjoying their company at playdates and sandpit meetups at the park and look forward to seeing them out and about.
On the Discovery Place jaunt we were part of a much bigger gathering of mums meeting at the science and technology museum with their babies and young children. As it was hard to get Sam to patiently wait for the other mums in the lobby we headed into a playroom full of lots of toddler friendly activities and I think most people had the same idea as soon everyone was gathered and children running amok. Lisa kindly sat and kept an eye on tummy time Bea in the special pen for the smaller kids so Sam could enjoy playing with the toys in the main area. When Garrett escaped the enclosure and he and I had fun playing with water at a trough. Eventually we decided we really ought to take a look at the actual museum and our group of laden strollers meandered onwards. Sam really enjoyed the visit and had fun pretending to be scared of the dinosaurs models, pointing at the colourful fish in the aquarium and best of all, working the interactive exhibits. Once I managed to extract him from being a dig dig digger I traded in our tickets for a year’s family membership on our way out. (Thanks Granma and Granpa Allen!)
Thanks to the Meetup mum’s group I’ve also enjoyed a few pints down the local pub on a girl’s night out, storytimes at various libraries, a playdate around a Thomas play table in the middle of a bookstore, and a lunch date at a noodle house.
Sam, Bea and I have been spent January nicely busy. In fact we have absolutely no plans for today and it’s a little strange.